The Four Pillars of Too Much

holy experience

As I am in the process of cleaning out my fridge and freezer and pantry, in order to embark on the first-of-the-month big shopping trip, everything appears cluttered, disorganized and it makes me feel panicky. It is not as if this is the first time I’ve noticed this. Every time I do I say to myself, ‘I’ll get to that next week or month or whenever I have some free available time.’ But today it dawned on me that I will never have enough free time to work on it. My life is also filled with chaos and clutter and disorganization. I am a mother of five children with open plans for more. My children are home with me all day long. Sure there is learning and joy and projects and endless reading of great worth. But there is also a stream of destruction that follows me all day as I try to keep up with the flow of household management.

We do dishes but again we eat. We do laundry but again the hamper fills up. We play outside in the joy of budding spring but drag in the mud and leftover winter debris. We do school and things get out of place, half-used, disorganized. We read so books end up in piles everywhere. We play so toys get pulled out creating death traps on the stairs. We do life and life is messy.

So how do we combat this? I ponder this daily. I know in part it is about teaching good habits and making sure everything has a place and keeping up on chores and creating a daily rhythm that works for our specific needs. But I wonder how much of it is also about having too much, always wanting more, filling our days and cupboards with too many choices – even if they are worthy and wonderful choices. Do we have breathing room?

So as I am taking a break from wiping down the freezer and writing up a shopping list to nurse a little one, my eye catches this post by Elizabeth Foss and I click the link to this book and start reading. And suddenly that peace that passes all understanding floods my soul that only happens when He places something in front of my eyes that speaks directly to my battle. And I struggle to not immediately order it (another symptom of the “too much” syndrome) but instead ponder it and wait on the Lord to see where He directs my steps.  So while I am pondering and adding this wonderful book to my Amazon wish list, I thought I’d share a few quotable nuggets with you to ponder this day too.

We are building our daily lives, and our families, on the four pillars of too much: too much stuff, too many choices, too much information, and too much speed. With this level of busyness, distractions, time pressure, and clutter (mental and physical), children are robbed of the time and ease they need to explore their worlds and their emerging selves. And since the pressures of “too much” are so universal, we are “adjusting” at a commensurately fast pace. The weirdness of “too much” begins to seem normal. If the water we are swimming in continues to heat up, and we simply adjusts as it heats, how will we know to hop out before we boil? ~ KIM JOHN PAYNE – SIMPLICITY PARENTING


We are facing an enormous problem in our lives today. It’s so big we can hardly see it, and it’s right in front of our face all day, every day. We’re all living too big lives, crammed from top to toe with activities, urgencies, and obligations that seem absolute. There’s no time to take a breath, no time to look for the source of the problem.  ~ SARA SUSANKA – THE NOT SO BIG LIFE


Simplicity is the ultimate manifestation of the spiritual gift of self-control. (one of my favorites!)


The reason that we are not fully at ease in heart and soul is because we seek rest in these things that are so little and have no rest within them, and pay no attention to our God, who is Almighty, All-wise, All-good, and the only real rest. ~ JULIAN OF NORWICH


“Do not be so given to the activity of Martha as to forget the silence of Mary. May the Virgin who so well reconciled the one with the other be your sweet model and inspiration.”  ~ ST. PIO

In a way, nobody sees a flower really, it is so small, we haven’t time—to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” ~ GEORGIA O’KEEFE

And, last but not least,

“Who is rich?  He that rejoices in his portion.”  ~ THE TALMUD

This is where I start my week. I am tugging and pulling with simplification and need to jot down some Thanks to the Highest Order, The I AM of simplicity,  in order to bring balance to my week.

160) Finished ONE PAGE of my new schedule…only 6 more to go!

161) Went shopping with only one little one due to the beautiful sacrifice of a dear brother-in-law!

162) Kids got to visit the zoo twice in one week.

163) My camera ran out of juice so the zoo had to be about just being, not blogging or scrapbooking.

164) Hauled two garbage bags full of Garage Sale Stuff to the garage.

165) Blessed with an extra-warm house due to the efficiency of new furnace.

166) My kids did the dishes today…twice!!

167) New friends made at church for my little social butterfly.

168) Taking more time to read with the kids, even with a fussy baby.

169) Found a full tank of gas in my car on the way to church this morning just as I was thinking about how we would cover that expense this week. Thank you again, dear brother!

170) A pork roast that I didn’t cook and good company.

171) Learning about pandas and rocks and minerals.

172) A new ballet training CD arriving.

173) Math and Science tales of googles and quarks and fractals.

174) A Boy and his Cricket and the memories they evoked of my now eight-year old.

175) Baby Orajel.

176) Free Aldi’s boxes that work as bookends.

177) A full house of groceries and milk and fresh fruit.

178) One night where I slept all the way through!

May your week be filled with many blessings and may you slow down to find joy in the little things!

3 thoughts on “The Four Pillars of Too Much

  1. Sounds like a great book-I will have to check it out! Here is a quote that I love:

    “Teach us to delight in simple things.” -Rudyard Kipling

    Good luck on simplifying:)

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